Archive for WebMD

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 20, 2008 by Dave Liu

Microsoft’s Ballmer: Read My Lips—No Bid For Yahoo — In case you didn’t believe him the first 20 times, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer repeated today at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting that he has no intention of making another offer for Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). Ballmer’s words, reported by MarketWatch: “Let me be as clear as I think I’ve tried to be publicly: We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo. We have moved on.” Ballmer also repeated that a potential search deal could be “an interesting opportunity.” Not clear whether he means acquiring Yahoo’s search business, as he tried to do after the full-monty bid failed, or some other arrangement. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s stock price, boosted by the notion that Jerry Yang’s departure as CEO signaled a Ballmer reversal, is coming back down, dropping more than 17 percent to $9.57 as I type.

WebMD, QualityHealth Parent Cancel $50 Million-Plus Acquisition; Ad Pact, Minority Interest Instead — Some consolidation unwinding in the health content area and another deal that won’t happen for WebMD … WebMD Health Corp. and Marketing Technology Solutions, the owner of, have “mutually terminated” the acquisition of MTS, a deal announced in September for $50 million in cash plus a possible $25 million earn-out. Instead, WebMD has signed an ad services pact with MTS and acquired a minority preferred interest. WebMD will sell some of’s ads and provide “limited access” to some of its own inventory.

Google Pulls the Plug On Lively — Google’s “me too” virtual world Lively will be dead by the end of the year—just six months after it launched. It was almost inevitable though, as Google (NSDQ: GOOG) debuted Lively well after the virtual world frenzy had simmered down. The service also had to compete with established worlds like, IMVU and even themed properties like MTV’s Virtual Laguna Beach. Lively traffic was marginal at best (via Compete stats), and given the state of the economy, even Google couldn’t afford to devote resources to a fledgling project. The company admitted as much in an official blog post: It has been a tough decision, but we want to ensure that we prioritize our resources and focus more on our core search, ads and apps business. Any guesses on which other Google projects might be on the bubble? Google Base?

Blinkx Reboots Bid For Ad Net MIVA, New All-Cash Offer — Blinkx isn’t taking no for an answer. Despite dropping its pursuit of pay-per-click ad network MIVA last month after being rebuffed, it’s now restarted the reverse-takeover bid after recording strong earnings last week. At $0.55 per share ($19 million), the new bid is far less than the $1.20 ($41 million) first offered back in August, but is still 108 percent up on MIVA’s Tuesday close of $0.26 and comes in all-cash. MIVA’s share price has tanked by 85 percent this year and the outfit last week raised a $10 million credit facility after seeing Q3 losses widen from $3.3 million to $10.5 million. Blinkx said the buy is still attractive to shareholders “in light of issues in the MIVA business and current market conditions; however, because of MIVA’s continued loss-making performance and rapidly declining cash position, time is of the essence”.

Dow Closes Below 8,000 For First Time In Five Years; ContentNextDex Drops To Lowest Since ‘07 Launch — The Dow, with its first sub-8,000 close in five years, wasn’t the only index with a record-you-don’t-want day: the ContentNextDex, our own index of media, tech, mobile and entertainment stocks, dropped nearly 6 percent to 507.32—the lowest close since we launched it officially in September 2007. Compared with the year’s high of 1,076.02, that’s a staggering 47.68 percent loss year to date. The ContentNextDex performance hovered between the Dow’s 5 percent drop to 7,997 and the S&P 500’s loss of 6.12 percent. ContentNexDex is a flood of red with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) snugly in the top five losers thanks to Steve Ballmer’s most recent public repudiation, down 20.8 percent to $9.14. Media General (NYSE: MEG) lost nearly 30 percent of what was left of its value, closing at $2.96. Fellow newspaper publisher McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) wasn’t far behind, down nearly 22 percent to $1.51. Together, the combined market cap doesn’t come close to $200 million—$152.8 million to be exact. Sirius XM (NSDQ: SIRI) Radio is close to non-existence at 16 cents per share with a market cap of $515 million. In all, 30 stocks—just under one third of ContentNextDex—closed with double-digit losses.

eHarmony Offers Matchmaking To Gays, Lesbians — Online dating service eHarmony will start a matchmaking service for lesbian and gay singles to settle a discrimination complaint in New Jersey. The agreement between the company and New Jersey Attorney General’s Civil Rights Division also calls for eHarmony to pay $50,000 to the state and $5,000 to a resident, Eric McKinley, who brought the complaint. The new service, Compatible Partners, will debut next March and will offer free six-month memberships to the first 10,000 people to register within one year.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google, Yahoo Keep Talking To DoJ On Ad Deal; Strategic Costs From Yahoo’s Side: $73M This Year — Despite some rumbles about the Google-Yahoo ad deal being in regulatory trouble, the two companies insist they are still talking to the U.S. Justice Department about it, CEO Eric Schmidt said today. The companies have extended their discussions with DoJ, it announced earlier this month, though Google had previously said that it would move ahead with implementing the deal in October, with or without approval from antitrust approval. The anti-trust decision is expected anytime now, maybe as soon as this week.

HLTH And WebMD Could Make Buys, Now That Merger Is Canceled — HLTH and WebMD, the two listed medical portals that called off their merger agreement, could make buys, reported the Wall Street Journal. The report, part of a story looking at HLTH and WebMd’s move to call off the merger, cited Martin Wygod, chairman of both companies, as saying that by ending the merger, both companies are in a good position to pursue buys. HTLH of Elmwood Park, New Jersey owns 84% of WebMD of New York. HLTH has a market capitalization of USD 1.7bn. Source: mergermarket.

CBS Interactive Hopes To Gather TV Viewers And Web Users In ‘Social Viewing Rooms’— While the data on how many viewers are watching TV and surfing the web simultaneously has been a little thin the past few years, CBS Interactive (NYSE: CBS) feels it has little to lose with a new service that aims to capture those viewers doing both. Its new Social Viewing Room service will encourage users to watch shows on TV, find like-minded fans and participate in chats around a particular program. This is something that MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) has pursued for awhile, with shows like The Hills. But CBS, which has historically attracted the oldest audiences of the major broadcasters, has been a little late to the game. At the launch, there are about a dozen shows in the Social Viewing Room. As part of a promotional campaign around CBS’ new service, Intel (NSDQ: INTC) is having its brand “weaved” into the room’s content, which are grouped into three channels—primetime, daytime and CBS Classics.

Music Social Network Imeem In Play; Hires Bank; Laying Off 25 Percent — Online music-focused social network Imeem is on the block, according to our sources, and has hired investment banker Montgomery and Co. to lead the sale. Coincidentally, we have also learned that the company is announcing some layoffs internally today—as much as 25 percent of its around 80-strong workforce. These layoffs are mainly on the technical back end and services side. The company has done its on-demand streaming music deals with all four majors, and has also been working with a slew of indies. As it has built out its platform (it recently relaunched its site/service), and done most of the biz dev deals, the focus now is on growing audience and monetizing the platform…it won’t be needing as much technical expertise going ahead, the sources say, and hence the layoffs.

Glam Media Finds Its Male Side, Launches — After offering a hint about its plans last month, female-centric Glam Media has released Brash, its new male-focused lifestyle and entertainment online hub. Brash is being targeted to men 18-49 years old and is beginning life with more than 25 sites including ArtistDirect,, Squidoo and SpirlFrog. Samir Arora, Glam’s CEO, claims that the Brash network has more then 10 million uniques at launch. The network is comprised of five channels: Men’s Lifestyle (Style, Fitness, Travel, Food & Drink), Entertainment (Music, Movies, TV, Games), Tech (Audio, Gadgets, PC & Macs), Auto (Luxury, Sport, SUV, and Sedans) and News (World, US, Politics & Tech). In addition to the site network, Glam has also created BrashTV, a DRM-protected, video distribution platform built on GlamTV. Partners on that offering include Entertainment Studios, CINELAN 3-Minute Films, and

Interwoven’s Adaptive Targeting Personalizes Ads, Content — An optimization platform that delivers targeted ads becomes available today from Interwoven. The Optimost Adaptive Targeting service allows businesses to offer the best combination of advertisements and content based on click patterns and characteristics of those visiting their sites.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2008 by Dave Liu

HLTH Corp. and WebMD Cancel Merger Agreement, Citing Market Turmoil — The wildly fluctuating financial markets have doomed a long-planned merger between HLTH Corp. and its majority-owned subsidiary, WebMD. HLTH said the companies’ boards, which both agreed to the termination, felt both sides would benefit from WebMD remaining as a publicly-traded unit, citing its approximately $340 million in cash and inv*stm*nts and no long-term debt as evidence of a strong balance sheet. Given the particular struggles in the credit market these days, WebMD’s growth would have been constrained by HLTH’s $650 million in long-term debt that would be coming due in 18 to 36 months. HLTH owns approximately 84 percent of WebMD. Separately, HLTH said it was buying back 50 million shares of its common stock at a price per share of $9.20.

Analysts Disappointed By Yahoo’s Q3, Low Expectations For The Future — Yahoo’s struggles are nothing new, and yesterday’s Q3 reconfirmed that the tough times will only continue. Aside from plans to lay off 10 percent of its workforce, Yahoo reported anemic 1 percent growth in revenue—$1.786 billion—and a 19.6 drop in net income to $153 million. Also, affiliate revs continued their series of quarterly declines, dropping 10 percent over last year; and while O&O display was up 3 percent, it represented a significant slowdown in growth. As for how some of the analysts who follow Yahoo saw it, most continue to believe that the company’s stock, which was trading around $12.60—less than a third of where it was back in June when Microsoft was trying to acquire it—is still worth holding. But most remain skeptical about a turnaround before the end of 2009.

Netflix Q3 Revs Rise 16 Percent; Net Income Gains 30 Percent — Netflix Q3 revenues came in at $341 million, up 16 percent year-over-year from Q307’s $294 million. Meanwhile, GAAP net income for the same period was $20.4 million ($0.33 per diluted share), compared to $15.6 million ($0.23 per diluted share) the year before—a 30 percent gain. Gross profit also grew, rising 8.4 percent to $116 million from Q307’s $107 million. The movie rental company also beat analysts’ estimates, Reuters reported. As a result, Netflix shares gained roughly 3 percent to end $24.53 a share in after-hours trading on Monday after closing at $23.80 a share.

FIM Partners With Lin TV To Build Local Broadcast Sites — Fox Interactive Media is working with digital publishing company Lin TV to build up parent News Corp.’s local broadcast sites. So far, the FIM and Lin TV have launched two sites, for Rhode Island’s and Florida’s Over the next few weeks, an unspecified number of other local TV sites will be rolled out. As part of the arrangement, FIM is delivering both back-end and front-end publishing services to LIN TV’s stable of web properties, including content management, video, contextual search and social networking. On its end, Lin TV is creating customized video players, weather map and social net tools.

Fox Creates Mobile Group After Buying Jamba Stake; Will Launch U.S. Brand — News Corp is overhauling its mobile operations after paying VeriSign (NSDQ: VRSN) $200 million for its remaining 49 percent state in Jamba, the mobile content company. This marks the end to the company’s whirlwind history, which succeeded with the rise of ringtones, only to struggle as it faced controversies over billing practices and waning ringtone sales. Going forward, the company known as Jamba will be gone, but the brand will continue under the newly formed Fox Mobile Group, which will be led by Jamba’s CEO Mauro Montanaro. Under the new leadership and business structure, the group will enter its next phase, which includes significant investments by launching a new mobile brand in the U.S. and by opening up a new studio to create made-for-mobile content. To understand what’s going on, we talked to Fox Mobile Group’s new CEO Mauro Montanaro, Jamba’s former CEO.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google-Yahoo Put Partnership On Hold; Talks With DOJ ‘Continuing’ — Yahoo and Google will suspend working together in order to give the Department of Justice more time to determine whether or not their ad search pact runs afoul of anti-trust laws AllThingsD reports, citing sources close to the situation. Yahoo spokesman Adam Grossberg confirmed that report for paidContent, saying, ”The companies have agreed to a brief delay in implementing this agreement to continue our ongoing discussions with the Department of Justice. We have had discussions with regulators and look forward to responding to their questions about this agreement.”

Magazines’ Digital Revenues Offset Last Year’s Print Declines (For Some) — As magazine ad pages continued to slip this year and last, digital’s growth appeared to help offset the print losses at several publishers, particularly Time Inc. and IDG, AdAge reports. The 48 mags that shared information for AdAge’s annual Magazine 300 survey said that revenues from digital ranged from 0.3 percent to 38 percent, with the median figure for digital last year hitting 9.75 percent—about double what magazines reported last year. Counterbalancing print declines: For the most part, tech-focused mags saw the greatest gains from digital. Among the magazines whose digital sides compensated for print declines, IDG’s PC World told AdAge that its digital share gained 38 percent, the highest on the survey and up from 32 percent in 2006. Consumer titles began feeling the benefits from digital as well.

Facebook Co-Founder Moskovitz Leaving To Start New Company — Facebook co-founder and chief engineer Dustin Moskovitz is leaving the social net to found a new company with another departing Facebook engineer, Justin Rosenstein, Valleywag reported and CNET confirmed. Moskovitz served as head engineer for Facebook, having served a more behind-the-scenes role in the recent years. It’s the most recent in a series of exec departures.

Friendster Joins Bebo In Allowing Facebook App Compatibility — Making like Bebo, Friendster has announced it now supports both Facebook’s code and OpenSocial, CNET reports. The move effectively enables Fbook app developers to port their apps to Friendster and to choose between Fbook and Google’s OpenSocial APIs when launching apps on Fbook. Last year, Friendster launched its developer platform with over 180 apps and allowed participating companies and developers to advertise anywhere in the app space and keep all of the revenue. It closed a $20 million round and hired a new CEO, Richard Kimber, in August. Aims For More Relevance, More Engagement With Latest Revamp; More Users Wouldn’t Hurt — A busy 24 hours at IAC (NSDQ: IACI), another update from search engine, going live now with its “next generation.” Goals include reducing searches to one click and providing direct answers on the results page in high-volume categories. The changes follow a shift in strategy announced last spring to focus less on the whiz-bang kind of services that might impress “the digerati” and more on practical results.

Ben Wolin, CEO, Waterfront Media: ‘A Two-Horse Race’ — Late last night, Waterfront Media and Revolution Health put the finishing touches on a merger that, when the dust settles, will produce a #2 health network with more than 20 million uniques. While a lot of the focus is on Steve Case’s dramatic switch from building his own massive health network to holding equity in another company, it’s a big leap towards Waterfront CEO Ben Wolin’s goal of building a network that can topple WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD) from its long-held perch at the top of the category. Wolin and I spoke today about the merger that is transforming the company he will continue to lead. Funding: Waterfront raised $20 million in equity inv*stm*nt from current investors but the merger itself was a straight equity play with Revolution becoming a “big” shareholder. Wolin said Waterfront doesn’t assume any debt as part of the deal. He said he doesn’t know where the notion came from that Waterfront was having problems raising money, mentioned here earlier, and that the company had offers of funds from current and would-be investors. The $20 million fifth round —making a total of $57 million raised—adds cash to the balance sheet and provides some flexibility as Waterfront expands. So what is Waterfront worth now? Wolin: “As a private company, that is a hard question to answer.” He says the company was on track as a standalone to make close to $70 million this year and also be profitable. He expects the combined number to be “well north of $100 million” in 2009. More M&A: “We see more. We’re going to build a big company and some of that’s going to happen organically and we’re going to continue to go after very attractive assets.”

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2008 by Dave Liu

Revolution Health, Waterfront Media Plan Merger To Compete With WebMD — Reports of this possibility first surfaced last month and now it’s done … Steve Case’s ambitious Revolution Health Network will merge with Waterfront Media in a deal the parties value at $300 million, according to the New York Times. Revolution’s sites will be absorbed into Waterfront’s Everyday Health Network but will remain. Case will join the board while Benjamin Wolin remains CEO of Waterfront Media, with Revolution as a “major investor” in the expanded Waterfront Media and its 24 sites. Case will continue to head parent company Revolution LLC “and will continue to be involved with health companies.”

Sony Has It All Now: Acquisition Of Bertelsmann’s 50 Percent Stake In Sony BMG Done, BMG Dropped — The second-largest record company in the world is now all Sony’s. As announced in August, Bertelsmann’s 50 percent stake in Sony BMG has been acquired by Sony Corp (NYSE: SNE). The former joint venture is now being renamed Sony Music Entertainment – a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. of America. The purchase values the company at nearly $1.8 billion, according to WSJ. Record labels Arista, Columbia, Epic, J, Jive and RCA all fall under the Sony umbrella, which holds contracts with artists such as Celine Dion, Alicia Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Usher.

Morningstar Biz News Site Buying Investors Database For $19 Million — Investment research firm Morningstar is buying Fundamental Data Limited, a UK provider of online information about so-called “closed-end funds”, a type of of investment scheme, for £11 million. Fundamental’s products include the web-based dashboard FundWeb and info feeds, offered to investment banks, brokers etc. Morningstar, whose CEO Joe Mansueto later bought Inc and Fast Company magazines, also publishes information to financial professionals, tracking 280,000 investments; its UK site has a tenth of that plus company and executive biographies.

Washington Post Company Buys Foreign Policy Magazine — The Washington Post Company isn’t just an for-profit education company, as it’s still making moves to bolster the media side. Today it announced the acquisition of Foreign Policy magazine, along with its website The bi-monthly glossy, which was originally founded in 1970, will become part of the Slate group, and the plan is for former WaPo foreign affairs editor Susan Glasser to edit the magazine. The magazine claims circulation of 100,000 and it notes that its website is “fast growing,” though no numbers were given out. Terms of the deal weren’t announced, and it’s not clear what Foreign Policy’s financials look like. But it might be a good guess that highbrow, almost-academic, long-form writing on foreign policy might be less exposed to some of the brutal forces impacting the magazine industry.

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google Acquires Korean Blogging Software Company TNC — Google has bought Korea-based blogging software provider TNC, co-founder and co-CEO Chang Kim said in a blog post on (via Venturebeat). Terms weren’t disclosed. The company’s full name is Tatter and Company. Kim compares TNC to Matt Mullenweg’s Automattic – “a company that develops a cool blogging platform” that’s favored by “the nation’s A-list bloggers and also works closely with the open source community.”

The Next Chapter: Best Buy To Acquire Napster For $121 Million — Napster has fallen into the arms of a surprise buyer: Best Buy. The big-box electronics giant will pay $121 million or $2.65 per share. Shares of Napster closed at $1.36 on Friday, so this is nearly double for those die-hards that have held on for the long ride down. Sale chatter had picked up in recent months, in part because the company’s share price was approaching the cash it had in the bank –and in fact, Best Buy is only paying $54 million, once you net out Napster’s cash and short-term inv*stm*nts. Napster had been involved in an unusual proxy fight with three individual shareholders, and in a recent statement on the matter, it gave a heads up that it was open to a sale.

WebMD Buys QualityHealth For Up To $75 Million — The consolidation in the online health market continues: WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD) is buying online health info site and its owner Marketing Technology Solutions (MTS) for $50 million. Another $25 million could be earned based on performance in 2009.

GigaOmniMedia Makes Second Blog Buy: The Apple Blog — Om Malik’s blog network GigaOmniMedia has made its second acquisition… it has acquired The Apple Blog, which exclusively covers one of the blogosphere’s favorite companies. The deal comes not long after the acquisition of mobile-focused site jkOnTheRun. Terms of the deal, which should probably be described as an acq-hire, were not disclosed. The site is edited by Josh Pigford, who started it back in 2004. The acquisition follows closely on the news that Om would give up the CEO job and take a position as a partner at True Ventures, the VC firm with an investment in his network. In that announcement, he said that adding new blogs was a key part of the plan going forward.

WPP Digital Acquires Minority Stake in Proclivity Systems — WPP Digital has acquired a minority stake in online analytics provider Proclivity Systems, Brand Republic reported. The New York-based firm looks at consumers’ e-commerce habits, which is used by its clients to target merchandise and marketing efforts. WPP Digital, the investment arm of the ad holding company, followed Fung Capital USA investments, which was the lead investor in the unspecified funding round. The two were also joined by the Pilot Group as a stakeholder in Proclivity Systems. Back in April, WPP Digital took a minority stake in Chinese rich media ad delivery outfit HDT Holdings Technologies and in August, the ad company purchased a 12.82 percent share of IGA Limited, the Cayman Island-based parent company of InGame Ad Interactive Technology.

Bestofmedia Acquires IT Site — French tech publisher Bestofmedia raised $35 million earlier this summer, and now it’s spending some of it… The parent of Tom’s Guide has acquired, an IT info and support site. The site, which was founded back in 1996, is now under the Tom’s Guide brand. The announcement is a bit cagey on how big is: Bestofmedia says it now reaches 30 million readers following the deal; in July the company said it had 25 million readers, so that gives some idea. Expect more deals, as the company aims to become “the number one ranked privately-held online media publisher for technology worldwide by 2011.” Terms of this acquisition were not disclosed.

Media Rollup Firm Tsavo Buys Online Marketing Firm Better — Tsavo, the new media rollup firm backed by American Capital, has now bought El Segundo, Ca-based online marketing and SEO firm Better. Founded in 2004, the company provides a variety of services ranging from SEO and PPC management to clients such as Paramount, DreamWorks and Closet World. Better’s founder Ben Padnos had previously worked at Yahoo and launched a collegiate online sports network,, as part of another company which was later acquired by Viacomand rebranded as the CBS College Sports Network. More details here. We reported last week that Tsavo took over select assets of MoxyMedia, the Canada-based online media firm, which also had backing from American Capital.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google To Take On Baidu’s Music Site — Google, the worldwide leader in search, is taking on, the undisputed No.1 in China, by launching its own music search site — except this one only points users to music that’s legal to distribute. The site, which is only available to Chinese users, points to songs hosted by, a Chinese music site backed by NBA star Yao Ming. It will be ad-supported, with sharing the ad revenue with its music partners. Ars Technica says the move is a direct response to Baidu’s dominance of the music search market. The Chinese search leader has made a name for itself providing deep links to endless quantities of illegal music. Recently, the Music Copyright Society of China and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) questioned Baidu for its MP3 deep-linking policies in lawsuits filed against the search engine for enabling copyright infringement. Three labels represented by the IFPI seek a maximum of $9 million in damages, though the organization claims Baidu could be forced to pay billions in reparations.

AOL Split On Track, But Options Open On Sale Of Access; Prudent Aquisitions — Time Warner is making good progress, says CEO Jeff Bewkes, on curating the proper portfolio of assets. Cable is obviously on track and the deal to spin it fully off should be done by the end of the year. On AOL: “We’ve now made key financial and strategic decisions that will enable us to operate the access and audience.” But it still sounds a tad murky: assets of the company has been divided into three categories: access, audience and something called shared services. TWX will pursue prudent acquisitions, but only ones that provide a meaningful financial return, and one that’s superior to other uses of cash. Given the low share price, it will be difficult to find acquisitions, says Bewkes, that will be superior to just buying back stock. That being said, given all the financial changes the company is undergoing, buybacks are currently on pause. Following the big one-time dividend from TWC? Same. Prudent acquisitions if possible, but expect more cash returned to shareholders.

WebMD Q2 Revs Up 15 Percent; Income Up 25 Percent; Pharma Ads Coming Back?— Health portal WebMD reported revenue of $89.2 million, a 15 percent increase from $77.3 million in the year-ago quarter. Net income from continuing ops of $6.4 million ($.11 per share) were up 25 percent from last year’s $5.1 million ($.09 per share). The company’s core segment, online services, had revenue of $84.6 million, up 16 percent from last year. That was mainly due to 19 percent growth in advertising and sponsorship revenue. Earlier this year the company lowered its outlook for the year due to advertiser hesitance and the business climate, but in the announcement the company simply maintains the forecast. As for the company’s merger with HLTH, it currently expects the deal to close in October.

Bebo Write Down Looms For Time Warner — AOL, which continues to weigh down Time Warner’s stock and may soon be sold, could be forced to write down its recent acquisition of Bebo, says Silicon Alley Insider’s Peter Kafka. In its most recent SEC filing, Time Warner reveals that $760 million of the $857 million it paid for Bebo price was attributable to goodwill, while another $86 million went to “specific amortizable intangible assets.” That leaves $11 million for the actual company. In other words, says Kafka, “there’s almost no there there.” Goodwill represents the premium AOL paid for the social network. It was almost all premium. Now, this may be standard practice in the Internet biz, but sometimes, when the asset doesn’t deliver as promised, the acquirer is forced to come back and tell investors that it paid way too much, then it gets to write down the loss. Time Warner had to do this with AOL in 2003. EBay had to do this with Skype in 2007.

CondéNet Integrates Ad Sales Teams; Staff Reorg Focuses On Verticals, Not Titles –Times are getting a little tougher for online ad revenues. And so with marketers’ demands for one-stop shopping across a company’s sites getting louder, CondéNet has decided to simplify its two ad sales teams into one. Up until now, there was one team handling ads for,, and, and a separate sales team selling,,, and While categories like food, travel, fashion and teen, focus on different subjects, the reasoning is that the broad audience demos they attract make it more worthwhile to explore where visitors to those sites intersect. And so, sales staff will operate according to particular verticals, not titles.